Judge: Protect public from O'Neill

The judge presiding over the drunken-driving preliminary hearing of Sean Owen O’Neill Jr., who accidentally killed his best friend during a 2006 underage drinking party, had heard enough.

Not only had the 22-year-old Glen Mills resident allegedly driven drunk and crashed into a Chester County garage on Thanksgiving, but he was also on bail for allegedly engaging in open lewdness and a license-plate theft outside a Chadds Ford bar a year ago. Magisterial District Judge William D. Kraut set bail at $10,000 cash, despite the objections of Vincent DiFabio, O’Neill’s longtime attorney. Trying to get the judge to change his mind, DiFabio said his client always shows up for court appearances.

Blog Image 892524 - brady shea
Sean Owen O'Neill Jr. faces charges related to alcohol abuse again.

“Mr. O’Neill seems to be making a habit of appearing in courts,” the judge responded, adding that bail is also designed to protect the community. DiFabio said O’Neill would agree to additional restrictions, such as surrendering his license, if the judge would permit him to post 10 percent of the amount. But Kraut was unmoved, especially after Assistant District Attorney Marilyn Seide pointed out that O’Neill’s license is likely to be suspended, anyway, “so he’s not giving anything up.”

The judge, who suggested that DiFabio file a petition and take his argument to Chester County Court, agreed to give O’Neill some time to try and come up with the money. A few hours later, O'Neill was released after using a bail bonds agency. O’Neill, who waived the hearing, faces one fewer charge: leaving the scene of an accident. Seide said although witnesses said O’Neill appeared to be trying to flee, he was not successful. Seide said “after speaking with the witnesses and evaluating the facts and the law," her office felt the fleeing charge should be withdrawn. For more information on the hearing, see http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20120308_Scion_of_troubled_family_back_in_court_on_DUI_charge.html

A change is coming to commenting on Philly.com.
Watch for our new commenting platform on April 25.
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines

Comment policy:

Philly.com comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by Philly.com staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Load comments